Movie Review: Backcountry is a wilderness thriller weakened by its human elements

In the opening scene of Backcountry, Jenn (Missy Peregrym) and Alex (Jeff Roop) are driving through the woods as Dwight Twilley Band’s “Looking For The Magic”—a tune anyone reasonably well versed in contemporary horror will recognize as the unofficial theme of You’re Nextplays on the radio. In a film where every detail is very deliberately placed—we get not only Chekhov’s map, but also Chekhov’s bear spray, Chekhov’s flare, and Chekhov’s cell phone—it would seem that including a song so strongly associated with a recent horror film would be a clue, a winking reference to the kind of movie we’re about to see. But there’s nothing winking about Backcountry.

Canadian writer-director Adam MacDonald’s debut feature has some inarguably clever elements; simply devising a story that could be shot with a minimal cast (Jenn and Alex are alone in …

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